Mon, Feb 11, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Demonstrator loses hand at Paris ‘yellow vest’ march

CLASHES:Masked people threw projectiles at police, who retaliated with tear gas and stun grenades, while vandals also burnt mainly luxury vehicles

AFP, PARIS

“Yellow vest” protesters rally in Marseille, southern France, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

A “yellow vest” demonstrator on Saturday lost his hand during clashes with police outside the main parliament building in Paris, witnesses said, during a 13th weekend of anti-government protests across France.

Despite a drop in numbers from the massive turnouts of the first demonstrations in November last year, tens of thousands still turned out in cities across the country to protest against French President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

Clashes broke out outside the National Assembly building in Paris after a march from the Champs-Elysees avenue arrived there.

While many demonstrators marched peacefully, some masked activists tried to break down barriers outside the parliament while others urinated nearby.

Masked people threw projectiles at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

As the march continued, vandals burned rubbish bins as well as vehicles — mainly luxury models — vandalizing bus shelters, cash machines and shop windows along the route.

One of the torched vehicles belonged to Sentinelle, France’s anti-terrorism unit.

French Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner expressed his “indignation and disgust” in a tweet.

A man was being held for questioning over the blaze, Paris prosecutors said.

Volunteer medics at the National Assemblysaid that a man had had his hand ripped off during the clashes between police and protesters.

One witness who filmed the incident, 21-year-old Cyprien, said the victim was a yellow jacket photographer taking pictures of people trying to break down the barriers protecting the entrance to the National Assembly.

He was hit in the calf by a type of stun grenade as the police attempted to disperse people, Royer said.

“He wanted to bat it away so it didn’t explode by his leg — and it went off when he touched it,” he said.

The man lost four fingers, police said.

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